PES secretaries general meet in Lisbon to discuss shared challenges

PES secretaries general meet in Lisbon to discuss shared challenges

Participants from 15 member parties of the Party of European Socialists were joined by representatives from allied organisations, plus guests from the Icelandic party Samfylkingin and the Socialist Group in the Nordic Council. The meeting was co-hosted by PS Portugal.

At the top of the agenda were upcoming elections in many European countries, including Italy, Sweden, Hungary and Latvia. Attendees discussed recent electoral challenges and voter engagement, with detailed presentations analysing the political landscape in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Iceland.

There was also a special focus on fighting fake news and populism, in the light of adverse political developments in Catalonia and Hungary. Representatives from PSOE Spain and MSZP Hungary advised on their own experiences.

Finally, participants also discussed the outlook for European elections in 2019 and the process for choosing a common candidate for President of the European Commission.

PES secretary general Achim Post, chairing the meeting, said:

“The focus of the 2017 PES Council is renewing Europe in a progressive direction. That renewal can only be possible when our parties work closely together — which is why these networking meetings are one of the most important parts of the work of the PES.

“I am especially grateful to PS Portugal for co-hosting our meeting alongside the Council in Lisbon, which opens tomorrow.”


In attendance at the meeting were:


  • Achim Post, Secretary General
  • Marije Laffeber, Deputy Secretary General
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General
  • Giacomo Filibeck, Deputy Secretary General

PS Portugal

  • Hugo Pires, National Secretary for Organisation
  • Francisco André, International Secretary

BSP Bulgaria

  • Kiril Dobrev, Deputy Chairman of the BSP
  • Deniza Slateva, Deputy Chairwoman for European Affairs and International Relations

SD Denmark

  • Jan Juul Christensen, Secretary General

SDE Estonia

  • Kristen Kanarik, Secretary General

PS France

  • Rachid Temal, Secretary General

Labour UK

  • Iain McNicol, Secretary General

MSZP Hungary

  • József Tóbiás, Secretary General

PD Italy

  • Luciano Vecchi, International Secretary

LSDP Lithuania

  • Justas Pankauskas, Deputy Leader

PvdA Netherlands

  • Kirsten Meijer, International Secretary

DNA Norway

  • Kjersti Stenseng, Secretary General

SD Slovenia

  • Dejan Levanič, Secretary General

PSOE, Spain

  • José Luis Ábalos, Secretary of Organisation

SAP Sweden

  • Andrine Winther, International Secretary

PES Group in the CoR

  • Jordi Harrison, Secretary General


  • Tuulia Pitkänen, Secretary General

S&D Group in the EP

  • Javier Moreno Sanchez, Secretary General


  • Ernst Stetter, Secretary General


  • Conny Reuter, Secretary General

Samfylkingin Iceland

  • Margrét Lind Ólafsdóttir, Chair of the Executive Board

Socialist Group in the Nordic Council

  • Hrannar Arnarsson, Secretary General